Saudi Arabia and Israel on Agenda for Trump’s First Foreign Visit

Published May 4th, 2017 - 06:12 GMT
Trump shortly before making the announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House on Thursday (Mandel Ngan/AFP)
Trump shortly before making the announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House on Thursday (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

The Middle East is to play host to Donald Trump on his first official foreign visit. Reuters reported on Thursday that the US President will travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as the Vatican when he journeys abroad for the first time as POTUS.

Trump has already held meetings with high ranking officials from both countries since taking office. Last month he met with the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at the White House, and in February he played host to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, he is likely to receive a warm welcome in both countries. Netanyahu has called Trump’s actions on the Middle East a "great change in the direction of American policy." Meanwhile the Saudi Crown Prince said on his trip to Washington that Trump is a “true friend of Muslims.”

Speaking on Thursday, Trump said that he would use his trip to strengthen interreligious cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

"Our task is not to dictate to others how to live but to build a coalition of friends and partners who share the goal of fighting terrorism and bringing safety, opportunity and stability to the war-ravaged Middle East," he said.

The visits announced today are in addition to planned dates in Europe at the end of the month.


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